Taiwanese tech giant Acer has confirmed today that it wont launch any tablets in 2010, preferring instead to focus on ultra portable laptops, a potentially less lucrative market but one that Acer knows like the back of its hand.
The owner of popular brands Gateway, Emachine and Packard-Bell said that it won't launch a competitor to Apple's iPad although, as expected, those statements can change depending on market conditions and whether tablets turn out to be very successful.
Acer's archrival, Asus, has already demoed a number of ebook readers and a couple of tablet PCs and has confirmed to us that they will be looking to distance themselves over the next few years from the image of OEM/ODMs that normally associated with Taiwanese manufacturers.
Speaking to Digitimes, Scott Lin, Acer's Taiwanese president said that the company would be looking forward for a market in 2010, where as little as half of the laptops sold are traditional models - 15-inch or more, with netbooks making up 20 percent and ultra thin laptops, based either on AMD's Neo platform or Intel's CULV, getting the last 30 percent.
He added that Apple has built its business out of carving its own niche and bluntly said that Apple's probable success with the iPad might not be easily replicated by other players even if they are Apple's ODM/OEM partners.
We can't help but doubt Acer's statement as it is still too early for them to know whether the tablet will be a success or not. Anyhow, most companies think in terms of quarters and we're a long way from Christmas 2010. Expect a spectacular u-turn from Acer if the tablet turns out to be hotter than that of the netbooks.